[ExI] difficult (?) puzzle

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Wed Jul 8 13:36:23 UTC 2020



From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of Adrian Tymes via extropy-chat
Sent: Tuesday, July 7, 2020 11:33 PM
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Cc: Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [ExI] difficult (?) puzzle


On Tue, Jul 7, 2020 at 7:46 PM spike jones via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org <mailto:extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> > wrote:

From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org <mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> > On Behalf Of Adrian Tymes via extropy-chat

>…"Man" is often gender-neutral in old sayings.  These days, with more sensitivity to gender meanings (not to mention a greater understanding that female people can have just as much agency as male people), we might say "person", but in those olden times when they said "man", women were included in what they meant…


One wonders how far we can take this notion.  We wish to be inclusive, certainly a virtue with which none will argue,  but we are up against language constraints.  Sometimes we choose the pedantic “he or she” and “his or her” rather than do violence to the language by using the terms “they” and “their” for the gender non-specific singular.  However, there are more than two genders, and we wish to be inclusive. 


>…Indeed, within the past month, I have seen someone opinining that when the law says "him or her", the law does not apply to anyone who responds to some other pronoun instead.


>…This is incorrect.  Where words have been redefined in this manner, the law uses the meaning of the word used by the author, and the author clearly meant to mean everyone,  It is entirely possible - likely, in many cases - that the author had never heard of non-binary people, or of any third party personal pronoun other than "him" or "her", as of the date of that particular law's authorship.



Adrian, this is the kind of thing that has me thinking about how we will be judged in the future.  It has come in vogue to judge people from the past by today’s ethical standards rather than the standards of their times.  No doubt we will be judged in a similar manner, for that system is easier than actually learning about culture from past times.  


Today we are furiously tearing down past culture, treating it as morally toxic (or much worse.)  In this way, we establish ourselves as the moral superiors of our forefath… forepar…  hmmm, forehumans while having the same evolution-implanted psychological characteristics they had for all the same reasons.  


We are not ethically or morally superior to our forelifeforms.  We haven’t figured out how to evolve past the factors that made them and made us this way.



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